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Canceling a Listing

My home has been listed with an agent for over three months and I’m not happy. What options do I have?

All listing contracts have expiration dates. When is yours? If it is not coming up soon, tell the agent and/or his manager that you want to cancel your listing. Often they will let you cancel easily since they do not want to build ill will in the community. If they won’t, you can always pull your home off the market until the listing contract expires.

If a 6-month listing agreement was signed last month and an argument occurred and I don’t want to use that agent, can the listing be canceled?

Before you sign a listing agreement you should first ask the agent to research the average selling time in your neighborhood. If a listing contract is for more than ninety days, it should not exceed double the average selling time. As for canceling the contract, a lot depends on whether the agent works for a larger office with management, etc. Usually, the office or company wants to retain your good will, and will usually let you out of a listing agreement. It would be best to broach the matter in a calm pleasant way instead of getting hot and excited. Simply explain that you can no longer work with that agent or company any longer and you wish to cancel your listing. Initially, they will (of course) try to talk you out of it. Just keep repeating that you want to cancel and your reason for doing so. If you do it calmly, they won’t get defensive. Most of the time, this works. Make sure to get the cancellation in writing. If it doesn’t work, then you have two options. First, take your home off the market during those six months. Second, consult an attorney. I always hesitate to bring attorneys into things because you can never tell when that will get messy. Once things get messy, fees go up. Plus, real estate companies usually have attorneys already on retainer. You don’t.

I signed a listing agreement, but am having second thoughts about selling. How do I cancel and will it cost me anything?

It should be pretty simple. Just tell the agent you have changed your mind and decided not to sell after all. Since your cooperation is required to sell the house, most agents won’t give a hard time about canceling. Their hope is that when you later do decide to sell, you will get back in touch with them. However, if you attempt to put it back on the market during the contracted listing period using another agent, your original agent will attempt to enforce their contract.

Just listed with a realtor for 3 months but decided I would like to change to another. Is that allowed or legal?

Since you have a contract for 90 days, you would have to get your agent’s permission to be released from the contract so you can go with the other agent. Most of the time they will attempt to dissuade you from making the change, but will release you because they don’t want to engender any bad will. The agent will be reluctant of course, especially since you just “changed your mind,” and cannot point to any lack of performance problems with your present agent. The agent can refuse to release you from the listing agreement and there are various reasons they may do so. In that case, you’re either stuck or you have to simply take your home off the market for the rest of the listing period.